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Hayfever & Allergies

Hayfever & Allergies

Hayfever & Allergies

Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Allergic Rhinitis, commonly referred to as Hayfever results in inflammation and irritation of the nasal mucosal linings caused by an allergic reaction, leading to nasal discharge or blocked nose.

Hayfever occurs when an allergen (e.g. grass pollens, dust mites, animal hair) is inhaled by an individual with high circulating IgE antibodies. These antibodies bind to mast cells and basophils, triggering the release of inflammatory mediators such as histamine.

Seasonal allergic rhinitis occurs in response to seasonal allergens such as tree, grass and weed pollens. Onset is abrupt, usually in spring. Symptoms may be mild to severe.

Perennial allergic rhinitis occurs in response to perennial allergens such as animal fur, dust mite or foods.  Symptoms can resemble a constant cold. Symptoms tend to be more low-grade and chronic and may be associated with food intolerances.  They also are often seasonal with symptoms worsening around spring and at the change of other seasons.

Causes of Hayfever & Allergies

  • Poor gut function and microbiome imbalance (often a factor from birth)
  • High circulating IgE antibodies
  • Inability to effectively process histamines (Compromised DAO enzyme gene)
  • SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth)
  • Overexposure or repeated exposure to allergenic substances
  • Exposure to chemical and toxic irritants  including glyphosates
  • Smoking or prolonged exposure to second-hand smoke

Signs and symptoms of Hayfever & Allergies

  • Sneezing
  • Increased mucous production causing blocked or runny nose
  • Watery, itchy, puffy eyes
  • Swelling and inflammation of nasal passages
  • May have dark shadows, puffiness or a crease under the eyes in perennial rhinitis
  • May be associated with asthma and/or eczema

Conditions associated with Hayfever & Allergies

  • Asthma
  • Sinus infections
  • Nasal polyps
  • Chronic otitis media (glue ear)

Differential diagnosis

  • Viral, bacterial or fungal infection
  • Sinusitis (may be allergic, infectious or autoimmune)
  • Rhinitis medicamentosa: caused by prolonged use of topical decongestants
  • Vasomotor rhinitis: triggered by non-allergenic factors (e.g. fumes, chemical irritants)
  • Deviated septum

Investigations & Testing

  • IgG/IgA food sensitivity testing
  • Skin prick testing: may be done to identify airborne or food allergies
  • RAST allergy testing: may be done to identify food allergies
  • Advanced Stool Testing
  • Histamine intolerance and related blood chemistry markers


  • Address underlying gut and microbiome issues
  • Improve digestion
  • Investigate SIBO
  • Assess and address histamine processing ability and DAO enzyme function
  • Minimise exposure to allergens and irritants
  • Control of environmental allergens
  • Removal of any food allergens
  • Minimise exposure to environmental irritants
  • Tone and soothe mucous membranes
  • Reduce inflammation / histamine response /mucous formation
  • Balance immune system / reduce TH2 dominance and cytokine production

Diet plan guidelines for Hayfever & Allergies

  • Identify and eliminate any food allergens
  • Reducing gluten and casein may be beneficial to reduce immune load
  • Emphasise vitamin C and quercetin-rich foods e.g. berries, cherries, citrus, apples, onions, parsley, black and green tea : natural anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine action
  • Include garlic, onion and horseradish: decongestant action
  • Emphasise anti-inflammatory foods in general: in cold-water oily fish, berries, nuts and seeds, turmeric, ginger, green tea, olive oil
  • Emphasise antioxidant-rich foods to support immune function: berries, green tea, turmeric, fruits and vegetables

Hayfever & Allergy supplements

  • Vitamin C – anti-inflammatory, anti-histamine, immune support
  • Quercetin –  anti-inflammatory, anti-histamine
  • Bromelain – between meals: anti-inflammatory
  • N-acetyl cysteine – mucous membrane support

Herbal treatment for Hayfever and Allergies

  • Tone and soothe mucous membranes: goldenseal, plantain, goldenrod, sage, marshmallow, mullein
  • Reduce mucous formation: goldenrod, eyebright, elder flower
  • Reduce histamine release and stabilise mast cells: rosehips, bilberry, turmeric
  • Support immune system / reduce TH2 dominance: echinacea, astragalus, albizzia, baical skullcap


Allergies / Hayfever are caused by many different factors.  The above considerations will help support someone suffering from allergic symptoms such as a chronic runny nose (rhinitis), itchy skin and eyes, blocked sinus, watery eyes etc.  It is important to investigate the cause of the irritant and improve the way the body is able to process the allergens.  A major contributing factor is a compromised gut microbiome.  A functional medicine approach will analyse root causes and address biochemical pathways and effectively heal, repair and improve the ways the body processes allergens.

At our Perth clinic of Advanced Functional Medicine we have experience working with allergies, chronic sinus trouble and histamine processing issues.  M

If you are suffering from allergies, chronic sinus issues or histamine issues we would love to hear from you, how did you treat your allergies, please write a comment below.

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The above information is intended to be general, educational advice only, on topics which are of interest to us. It is not intended to represent specific or individual health or medical advice and is not specific to your situation. The below information is educative and is not intended to advertise any service.

Before making any decisions in relation to your health, you should always discuss your individual situation with your own health practitioners to ensure that any advice you have read is right for you.

Jarrod Cooper – ND

Jarrod Cooper – ND

Jarrod Cooper - ND is the founder of Advanced Functional Medicine Australia. He is a Naturopathic Doctor with extensive functional medicine training from leading practitioners in the USA and worldwide.

He is leading the way with advancements of functional medicine, clinically implementing worldwide best practices in Functional Medicine throughout Australia.

Jarrod consults in person from Perth, Western Australia and also online via Telehealth throughout Australia and worldwide.

If you are looking for personalised treatment, we highly recommend contacting Jarrod Cooper’s Advanced Functional Medicine clinic in Australia.

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